Cardinal Rules

Its very easy to get carried away with enthusiasm, and this time of year structure becomers tricky with holidays weirdly falling midweek. If you read the top tips blog I did recently you will see one of them is not to run two hard sessions back to back (on consecutive days). Another (and if its not there it should be!) is “Don’t up your mileage too quickly”.

About halfway round Bushy Park last night chasing a small pack of quicker runners from the Stragglers as they receeded into the darkness, pushing hard so as not to lose sight of them altogether, I found myself reflecting on these nuggets of running wisdom.

Not long back from an injury which was causing concern, this was now my third consecutive day’s running in the first week of marathon training. Yesterday was a 4 mile race and today will be getting on for six and I must be at around race pace! The calf is not niggling but a slight ache lets me know its there. I definitely should have more sense!

Fortunately all ends well. I catch the runners stretching outside Mark’s House in Wick Road which is conveniently located opposite the Lion, a good if marginally expensive Gastro pub buried in the side streets of Hampton Wick. We cool down and change before heading over the road for a good selection of ales. Mark likes Naked Ladies; I stick to a more traditional London Pride.

The conversation is varied and not all about running. Arthur is talking to me about time. Not in the sense of how long it takes to run a mile, but on a cosmic scale. If the Universe began x billion years ago, then what preceeded the big bang? Was there still time or did time start then? I suggested maybe looking for a start and finish was perhaps too limiting. Is looking for the start of time like trying to find the beginning of a circle (or more interestingly a sphere?)

Having forgotton the cardinal rules of running I at least remembered those of drinking and made a point of leaving after the third pint, probably just as well judging by a slightly erratic cycle back through Kingston, although in fairness not helped by my trouser let catching in the chain at various inopportune moments!

Rules are there to be broken and runners achiever personalities may push us to do so, but its wise to heed the Cardinal’s rules, particularly at this time of year.


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